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Midterm survival guide

David Sullivan


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Everyone knows that tests can be tough, so it’s easy to get stressed out when you have seven mid-year exams in the span of three days. As exams near, the only thing on everybody’s mind is study, study, study.

Except, how do you study? Do you open a textbook only to be distracted by a six hour Netflix marathon? Or, do you skip the studying altogether and wing it? Here are some ways to actually prepare for your midterms:

 1. Turn off your phone and all electronics

I know it can be tough, but how are you supposed to get any work done with the distraction of the internet just inches away from you? Turn off the phone and hit the books- it’ll still be there when you get back.

2. Study the right way for the right subject

Chances are, most of your classes are very different. This means they require different methods of studying.  You shouldn’t study for English the same way you would study for math. With English, you should not attempt to re-read every novel you have read this year. A quick review of plots, characters, and major themes, will go along way to help with your exam. Need to memorize vocabulary or review grammar rules?  Make flashcards: then quiz yourself out loud.

Unlike English, when it comes to math you can actually DO math problems. As a result, attempting practice problems will prove more helpful since there is less to memorize.

 3. Space out your studying

With up to three midterms in one day, you can’t study for all of them the night before. By spacing out your studying, you can still be prepared for all your subjects with half the stress.

Begin preparing about two weeks before the exam. Most teachers give out a study guide so you know exactly what to expect and what to work on. DO NOT CRAM.

 4. Gummy bears prove surprisingly useful

Looking for a more fun and delicious way to study? If your studying requires reading a book or textbook, place a gummy bear every few paragraphs on the page. Once you learn the material in that section, you can eat the gummy bear. Repeat this until you have finished studying that subject for the day- or until you run out of candy.

Not into gummy bears? Try chewing gum. Some psychologists say that chewing gum while you study, then chewing the same flavor of gum during a test actually helps improve memory.

5. Know what you need to work on

As previously stated, nearly every teacher will make it clear exactly what you should know for the midterm. Study guides are the keys to success in your high school career. Before you begin studying, look it over and know what you have to work on. These topics are what you should spend most of your time learning. Don’t forget to brush up on the stuff you do know, too- just to be safe!

6. Take regular study breaks

If the impending doom of midterms is really getting to you, make sure you take time to take a break every once in a while. Regular breaks actually improve your concentration and memory.  Every 40-50 minutes, make sure to put the textbook down and get something to eat or watch a TV show- just don’t forget to pick it back up again.

7. Get enough sleep

Making sure you get enough sleep can be just as important as studying the material. If you stay up all night playing Xbox, when morning rolls around everything you studied for will be in vain because you won’t be able to remember it. Professionals recommend teenagers get 9-10 hours of sleep per night. This will help you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on your midterms.

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11 Responses to “Midterm survival guide”

  1. Brendan Johnson on January 9th, 2015 2:00 pm

    Nice article! Being a freshman, it’s really helpful to have some guidelines for studying for midterms, and I’ll definitely use these tips during testing.

  2. Caroline Enos on January 9th, 2015 4:17 pm

    This all sounds really good! I think I’ll try some of it.

  3. Gianna Cabral on January 11th, 2015 10:39 am

    Thank you for this helpful article! Being a freshman, I had no clue where to start to study for midterms. This article has given me a huge idea of how to study and what to do to stay focused!

  4. Danielle Larrabee on January 11th, 2015 2:05 pm

    Great tips! I never thought to use gummy bears for studying its a good idea.

  5. Jenna on January 11th, 2015 3:48 pm

    Thanks for writing this, I will definitely use these since I always have a hard time studying. I needed something like this to help me.

  6. Rose Coffey on January 11th, 2015 5:27 pm
  7. Emily Kenyon on January 11th, 2015 5:46 pm

    I agree with all the other freshman! I will definitely put the gummy bear study method to good use.

  8. Matthew Smith on January 11th, 2015 6:25 pm

    Thank you for giving us freshmen helpful guidelines on how to study for midterms.

  9. Max Churchill on January 11th, 2015 7:59 pm

    Great article! It was really helpful

  10. Taylor Abbott on January 11th, 2015 8:46 pm

    This article was very helpful. Especially being a freshman and not knowing what its like to take midterms for the first time, these tips are great. Thank you for these guidelines, I’ll be sure to remember them when I start studying.

  11. Claire knowlton on January 11th, 2015 9:00 pm

    Being a high school student is hard in general , especially when you are all over the place like me so these methods will be very helpful for me

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